The prospect of a near 42-year-old player coming out of retirement after nearly three years away would perhaps not excite many clubs’ supporters but the relationship between Juan Sebastián Verón and Estudiantes is anything but ordinary.
Few players could claim to have the life-long bond that La Brujita has in La Plata but with a playing return imminent, where does the club legend fit into Nelson Vivas’ plans?
Organisers of preseason tournament, The Florida Cup were perhaps a little disappointed that Sunday’s clash with Bayer Leverkusen didn’t mark the third coming of Verón after the veteran was deemed not quite ready for action but they may only need to wait one week with Estudiantes’ friendly against Bahia now penciled in.
Either way, anticipation is enormous and it has steadily been growing since the former South American footballer of the year brushed off his boots to play for amateur club Estrella de Berisso in La Plata, and then pledged to make a full return should 65% of the executive boxes at Estudiantes’ new stadium be sold. With such a carrot dangling, the target was swiftly met and Verón began training with Vivas and the first team, yet there was still no official word.
It had become the worst kept secret but when ‘President Verón’ put pen to paper on an 18-month contract to assume the role of ‘midfield general Verón’ again, it was significant news around the world.